If elected, would you ensure future council meetings are recorded?

Question posted to Eastleigh 2021 local election candidates
See the detail here: Eastleigh Local Election 2021 - Candidate Questions and Answers


If elected, would you commit to overcoming obstacles and:
  • Maintain an option for councillors and residents to attend meetings remotely.
  • Working to ensure all council meetings are recorded and made publicly available.

These options are positive for many reasons including:

  • Reducing the impact of climate change (travel to meetings)
  • Improving work/life balance for councillors (less time spent on travel)
  • Reducing virus transmission.
  • Making meetings, democracy, and data more accessible to the public.
  • Improving education on local politics.
  • Creating a historical record of decisions made.
2 Likes

Adam

Yes to both:

(1) COVID-19 is a world changing event like the wars. It has accelerated a move towards greater remote interaction. Whilst some will continue to prefer ‘in person’ attendance, I feel that the ability to continue attending remotely increases accessibility, especially for those who find it difficult to be physically present for whatever reason; and

(2) recorded sessions are not only help increase transparency, they are invaluable to the history of the area.

Accordingly, I would be a strong advocate for both.

Alexander Culley
Reform UK candidate for Eastleigh North (Hampshire County Council) and Eastleigh Central (Eastleigh Borough Council)

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This simply isn’t an option unfortunately. The Government has written to councils saving that primary legislation is required for local councils to use online meetings past 7 May and they aren’t prepared to do this. The LGA is lobbying hard because Thai is a crazy situation it’s too early and not everyone has been vaccinated. Online meetings has increased the chances of the public watching meetings - very few have opted to speak. They are all recorded I get the signal when the events go live. I have a copy of the letter but can’t seem to put it here on my phone as the wrong format. Happy to email it.

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Interesting - seems bizarre. Wonder what the reason is…?

A bit like hoping everyone will be overjoyed to get on packed trains to London just so they can send some emails from their desk which they could have done from home!

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Thanks for the response @ACulley @Alexbourne!

I’ve now learnt what primary legislation and LGA (Local Government Association) is, thanks. Feel free to email the letter to info@eastleigh.online, and I’ll add it to this thread for all to see.

Should we be writing to ask Paul Holmes, our MP on this?

My original points/questions still stand though - would you support them? I accept my “overcome obstacles” point applies more to the first statement. I’ll amend it and clarify.

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Me too, it is very odd. I suspect its seen as a way to “kick start the economy”, and “return to normal” (go and buy a train ticket, buy a coffee en-route, buy lunch out, etc). Very old fashioned as I’d prefer not to return to normal and take advantage of some of the positives to come from covid, rather than just the negative.

Does it make Eastleigh better? Yes.

Will Labour support making Eastleigh better? Yes.

haha! With respect @Sam4eastleigh, those questions and answers are vague as “better” could depend on your perspective and taken either way, it’s why I asked the specific. :wink:

What can I say? It’s simple!

Will being more open around decision making, Council process and enabling more people to participate make Eastleigh better?

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In my opinion absolutely yes! So if I’m understanding right, it has your support. :slight_smile:

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I agree and so do Eastleigh Labour :blush:

Thanks to @Alexbourne for providing the letter he mentioned above:

I haven’t had time to read yet and likely won’t for a bit, but posting so others can. :slight_smile:

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I’d heard that the gov wasn’t extending powers to hold online meetings (Jackie Weaver definitely doesn’t have authority to do that) but I’m not sure whether that would prevent the public attending remotely:

Finally, while you do have a legal obligation to ensure that the members of the public can
access most of your meetings, I would encourage you to continue to provide remote access
to minimise the need for the public to attend meetings physically until at least 21 June, at
which point it is anticipated that all restrictions on indoor gatherings will have been lifted in
line with the Roadmap. However, it is for individual local authorities to satisfy themselves that
they have met the requirements for public access.

I seem to remember Hampshire Council streaming and recording meetings long before the pandemic, so it would be good if Eastleigh could do the same, and perhaps the smaller councils as well.

Also, I have a feeling the government are being a tad misleading about needing primary legislation. The rules mentioned in the letter look to me like a statutory instrument which basically just needed a Minister to put in place, so I can’t see any reason why at least parts of the provisions couldn’t be extended the same way. Obviously I am not an MP though so maybe they’re being honest for a change.

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Thanks for the government letter to councils on remote meetings @Alexbourne ; I’ve now read it!

I’ve also enabled PDF uploads so next time you can upload such a document yourself. :slight_smile:

I have a couple of questions:

  1. Are you in support of the current arrangement of council meetings being remotely accessible to the public, recorded and uploaded to YouTube continuing into the future, and would you continue to support this if re-elected?
  2. Can you confirm if Eastleigh Borough Council will continue its current approach until at least the 21st June, as quoted from the better by @jtonline above?

Many thanks! :slight_smile:

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Yes I support it. The recording and viewing of meeting was done through MS Teams - this isn’t the right platform for live in person meetings - it would need a proper camera and sound etc - I didn’t know if these items are available. But will ask.

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Awesome thanks! I’ve seen large meetings at KCC (Kings Community Church) before which had a good audio setup, and piped an ‘ok’ video and audio to other rooms. It would be possible to record this with a small cheap bit of tech. The more perfect solution of course would be a separate video stream per councillor - though admittedly that would likely be more costly and complex to setup. :slight_smile: